Big doins here at Fireflies & Laserbeams. I am moving the main blog to WordPress from Blogger. It has been good to me, but I am ready for something new.
I’ve completed a new story. I call it new because it is very different from what it was, and involved a complete overhaul/rewrite.
I am going to make an effort to blog more as well.
It’s been awhile since I posted about my writing. Truth be told I took a bit of a break. I had finished two books, along with my MFA, and then I submitted my work. Not sure if I hit a hundred “no thanks” or not. I could count, but suffice to say it was a lot, and it was demoralizing. Heartbreaking even. There is a reason so many writers are self-publishing. It’s hard to break in now. I made a vow to myself that I would let failure stop me. There are no wasted words.
At any rate, I got back on horse. I took one of the stories that I had been submitting, one which I had received some valuable feedback on, and I tore it apart. I changed the genders on a lot of characters and I took out anything that I had any question about. I upped the stakes, gave the protagonist more agency, and completely rewrote the second half of the book.
It works now.
It wasn’t a horrible story to start with, but it was flawed. The main character wasn’t likeable or even all that sympathetic. The ending was too abrupt and not all that satisfying. Of course I can say this now, in hindsight.
I learned a lot breaking this thing down and examining it from a different angle. The result is a much better novel. A book that is publishable. I’m submitting work again, but this book feels truly finished. I’m happy with it and I can now put it away until the time comes when I get edits from my publisher.
I learned a few things about myself in the process. I had to examine some deeply embedded hidden stereotype bias. When I switched the genders of a few characters in my story it was eye opening. I raised two strong women and am married to one, and I thought I understood how to write one. It surprised me how insidious it can be.
I feel like I’ve leveled up again. Passed some magic word number and the gods have opened another door into the writing journey. I still have a long long way to go. I know I’m not William Gibson or CJ Cherryh, but my craft is improving.
Now I’m writing the next novel. It is vastly different in so many ways, but the story has good bones and I’m excited to develop it. I have about 17,000 words to work with. But I’m rewriting a lot of those. The ideas are solid.
I’m also looking into short story writing. I haven’t figured it out yet. Seems like it should be easy right? But the ideas I generally come up with are novel length things. There is a trick to it I’m told. Can’t wait to find out.
Good luck in your writing!